With advancements in technology finding a home can be easier than ever for the home buyer. Pulling up available listings through Zillow or Trulia or from an agents website make searching online an enjoyable experience that can be accomplished from home. Your criteria for a house is an important place to start, but may not lead you immediately to the right home. I've learned that when buyers walk into a home meant especially for them, criteria goes out the window.
In the house hunt hiring a realtor adds the benefit of having someone on your side who knows what is available and what has sold. We can also schedule showings offered by multiple firms in a row. Whether it's listing you find or the agent suggests, they can put them o. A list and schedule the showings, print-up comparisons and optimize a driving map so your time can be efficiently spent.
For some people the search takes 6 months and 100 houses. I recently closed on a house with a nice young family who moved to town from out of state. I assisted in their efforts to find a rental property that was close to work and in a good safe neighborhood. They started looking at houses about six months after moving in. We would look at 5-6 houses each time we went out. The husband's criteria didn't exactly match the wife's. He was looking for a great price, close to work and wanted ample space while less concerned with finishes. The wife preferred a house that didn't say "project" everywhere she turned and had a layout the worked for raising children, accommodating in-laws, and close to good schools. We looked on and off for 6 months hovering just below the $300,000 price range, when 50+ houses later I got a message that they wanted to see an address that was priced at $235,000. We took a look that night because it seemed like a great bargain, made an offer and it was accepted.
The house was a well cared for mid-century home, that certainly had projects, but it was well cared for, clean, sized right, close to work and schools and bargain. Some criteria got set aside and they knew when they walked in, it was the house for them.
Be patient with the processes and keep looking until you find what fits. Sometimes the realtor will lead you to the house that fits, but often it's a house you come across on your own.
Tips for homebuyers with children:
1. Plan for fussy children if looking at houses near meal times. Bring snacks that will help them through until the showings are over.
2. Limit the number of showings to 3 or 4, if you can.
3. Allow your children to enjoy the wonder of seeing other homes, they can find it as enjoyable as you if allowed.